That endless ribbon of tarmac would stretch for about 5.000 km, either widening in three separate lanes or shrinking in one, when 2.000 meters above sea level. Coastal or mountain, the road was home for 15 days. Venice, Treviso, Trento, Como, Genova, Nice, Barcelona, Aix en Provence. There’s a story or more behind each one. It was not really what you would think of holiday, with extensive heat in southern France or thermal storms in Milan to Venice when on the way home. Breakdowns are inevitable especially if you tend to enjoy the sticky tarmac of italian “autostada”. That would have a profound effect on both your rear tire and break pads, in less than a 300 km range. Anyway there’s a good camping near Genova, run by Louis de Finesse, and you can get a refreshing sleep there, if you set your tent near the train tracks that actually run through the camping in MACH 3.
Here ‘s a top tip. Travel light ! You will probably don’t need all the clothes you packed. This is what you do. Pack all you think is necessary. After that unpack half the staff and you re ready. Cheap helmet intercom will not work, so unless you ‘re thinking of a serious investment you should forget about it and start developing the body language necessary for start, stop, slower or faster and that’s pretty much all you need. Or maybe you really need to have a discussion while cruising on two wheels round the Mediterranean.
Tip no 2 : Do not schedule. Not because you spoil all the fun, blah blah blah….. Simply because you can’t. There is absolutely no way of telling where you ‘re going to be at the exact time in question. Not unless there’s a team of ten behind you making all the arrangements. And this team includes to say at least highly decorated CIA agents equipped with gismos NASA scientists don’t even know they exist. So. .. . do not schedule. It is more fun.
Tip no 3 : To cash or not to cash? Talk about cash in northern Italy or southern France and you will either look as a primitive human coming from their eastern neighbors or like a bank robber washing out cash. You guessed it. Plastic is the way to go. Even the Spanish are compatible with plastic. You will need some emergency cash though for situations like, arriving in Barcelona past midnight on a Saturday, especially if that Saturday happens to be the conclusion of a 5 days long international gay parade. You will need it to buy the famous “cerveza” and spend the night sitting on a bench near the “ramplas” waiting for early morning chekouts.
Tip no 4 : This one goes out to the Greek drivers. Stay out of emergency lanes. They do mean something there. Should a Greek living or has lived in Germany try to comment on this one, i got loads of pictures of their driving style when inside the Greek borders. I really have an empathy for these guys.
Tip no 5 : The person giving you these tips is a trained professional and you should do as told.